A SUBARU isn’t the sort of car you would normally associate with drag racing; they’re more famous for their heroic performances in the World Rally Championship thanks to their all-wheel-drive grip and low-centre-of-gravity boxer engine. As we’ve found out over the years though, those Subie four-pots are incredibly robust and enjoy big boost – it’s just the all-paw drivelines that don’t so much like the abuse.
Still, Queenslander Errol Brittain was able to run email@example.com in his street-trim WRX back in 2010, becoming the first nine-second manual Rex in Australia. Eventually he got sick of breaking driveline components and looked at putting the proven engine combo into something else – naturally, his choice was a Subaru Brumby ute!
Rather than muck around with Subaru gearboxes and diffs, Errol went straight to an Strange alloy nine-inch arse-end with a ladder bar and Reid-case Powerglide auto. Over the eight years Errol has been racing the Brumby, the combo has evolved to a Subaru EJ25 out of a later-model WRX STI, still retaining the factory crank and stoke, albeit with tougher pistons and rods. It’s boosted by a monster Garrett GTX turbo and runs on methanol fuel. With around 42psi blown through it, Errol estimates power to be around the 920hp mark based on the numbers the car has run.
So far Errol’s Brumby has laid down a best of 8.27@165mph on the quarter-mile. His goal is to eventually run a seven-second pass with the car on slicks before giving the Kenda radial eighth-mile events a crack.
Like me, you’re probably wondering how the factory block and crank holds up to 42psi and close to 1000hp. “The blocks are good; factory cranks don’t like that power though,” Errol reckons. “We get about 50 to 75 eight-second passes on a factory crank, then strip the motor to crack-test the crank, and we usually just replace it to avoid having any issues.”
Errol has an aftermarket crank coming from Pure Performance Motorsport in Victoria to go in his next motor, which should handle a bit more grunt. Go the Brumby!